training theory


For most of my many years with horses I didn’t think much about cross-ties. All of the barns that I’ve been in have them. Cross-ties keep the horse centered in the aisle. With lines clipped to both sides of the halter, a horse will stand where needed while the farrier […]

Teaching Ground-Tying


Your horse has a reason for everything that they do. I have a good story about this. After six years of riding Tonka on the flat, I’ve decided that jumping little cross-rails might be fun. Tonka agreed. During the first lesson he was a bit of an over-achiever!   Although […]

There’s a Reason Why


I’m at an art festival with my husband. We’re holding hands. I see something that I want to look at. I walk towards it, he feels where I’m going through our hands. He follows. He gets distracted by something and he stops, he pulls lightly on my hand so I […]

The Halter As Welcome Information



I have a couple of adages that I ride and live by. One is ‘the slower you go, the faster you get there.’ Another is ‘the more you do, the more you do.’ I’m not a bold and brash rider. It’s all too easy to stay in my comfort zone. […]

The More You Do, The More You Do


Effective trainers know that when a desired behavior is rewarded, it’s likely to happen again. For that reason, we’re thoughtful about paying attention to what the animal wants and timing the reward so that they make the connection between what they’ve done and the consequence. But behavior isn’t only learned […]

When Feeding Treats Goes Wrong


Tonka used to cross tie perfectly. But then, last winter, we had two almost identical and serious incidents in the space of a week. He got zapped with static, startled backwards, felt pressure on his poll (which he’s always hated), panicked, and yanked to free himself until he broke the […]

Cross Tie Retraining



This is the state of my current home office.   This is what my new office looks like. The movers come the day after tomorrow. We’re not exactly ready. But transitions are like that. Rarely perfectly smooth and according to plan. I’m working on transitions with Tonka, too. Stretch walk […]

Transitions


Here in New England, it’s the beginning of horse show season. There are tune-up schooling shows to go to, and we dressage riders are mapping out which USDF recognized shows to enter later this summer. I like showing, and Tonka seems to, too.   We’ve certainly done well since entering […]

“Success” With Your Horse


In an ideal world, your horse confidently walks with you anywhere. A comfortable halter and lead rope provide for subtle, tactile information. Turn here. Slow down. Wait.   However, when faced with something worrisome, a horse might need more from you. We’ve all been there. A horse won’t get in the […]

Effective Luring For Horses